Police: Springdale Man Helped Murder Suspect Flee To California

Jose Mendoza

SPRINGDALE (KFSM) — A Springdale man is accused of hindering apprehension after he allegedly helped an Arkansas murder suspect flee to California.

Springdale police said Jose Mendoza, 18, was arrested Friday (Jan. 4) for helping Anjel Torres briefly elude authorities after a fatal shooting on Pioneer Street.

Torres, 18, is charged in Washington County Circuit Court with first-degree murder in the death of Javier Nicolas-Rodriguez.

During their investigation, police learned Mendoza and Torres are close friends and might be together, according to an arrest warrant.

Police obtained a phone number for Mendoza and tracked his cell phone to Arizona.

Investigators later got surveillance video from a nearby gas station, which managed to record the vehicle the men were driving.

Police issued a be-on-the-lookout (BOLO) and only hours later, a California Highway Patrol officer stopped the vehicle in Barstow, Calif.

The officer found Torres and Mendoza inside and contacted the U.S. Marshals, who arrived and arrested both men, according to the warrant.

Police were called to Pioneer Street around 3 a.m. on Dec. 6, 2018, for reports of gunshots. They arrived and found Nicolas, 19, dead inside the vehicle.

Anjel Torres

Torres also faces felony charges of committing a terroristic act, continuing criminal enterprise and three counts aggravated assault. He’s due in court later this week, while Mendoza has a hearing set for Jan. 18.

Torres and Mendoza were being held Monday (Jan. 7) at the Washington County Detention Center on bonds of $500,000 and $50,000, respectively.

Police have said the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with more information is asked to contact police at 479-750-8139 or leave a tip at 479-750-4484.

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